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13 Oct 2017

KPOJIME 52: COURT REMANDS KESTER KYENGE, DAVID SEV-AV, THREE OTHERS

By Jimin Geoffrey

The Federal High Court in Makurdi has ordered five persons indicted by the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime Commission of Inquiry to be remanded at the Makurdi Prison custody till Thursday, 19th October, 2017 pending the consideration and determination of their bail application.

The remanded persons are the member representing Logo State Constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly, Kester Kyenge, Mr David Sev-Av, Mr Andrew Ayande, Mr Terfa Bosua and Mr Alex Ogaba.

Justice Joseph Aneke gave the order today while ruling on a bail application brought before him by counsel to the accused, Mr. Andrew Wombo, praying the court to grant his clients bail using its discretion.

Justice Aneke faulted the bail application and asked the defense counsel to go back and look at it carefully in order not to jeopardize the integrity of the court.

Earlier, prosecution counsel, Kehinde Fagbemi, told the court that the accused persons were standing trial on corruption charges bordering on money laundering.

When the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges brought against them, the prosecution counsel applied for a date to open her case against the defendants, even as she prayed the court to remand them in prison custody pending a date to be fixed for continuation of the matter.

While arguing on a bail application brought by the defense counsel, the prosecution counsel asked the court to use its discretion in considering the application.

Counsel to the defendants, Andrew Wombo, who did not object to the application by prosecution counsel seeking for a date to open her case against the defendants, however objected to the prayer to remand them in prison custody, noting that they had been on administrative bail since 2016 but had not jumped bail conditions.

He said the accused persons had sworn through various affidavits that they would not breach the bail conditions.

The accused persons, it could be recalled, were among the 52 persons indicted by the Justice Kpojime Commission of Inquiry that probed incomes and expenditures of the Suswam-led administration from May 30th, 2007 to May 30th 2015.
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